Monday, June 03, 2013

Linking Out

Dealing with an overstuffed inbox at the moment, so I thought I’d post something today linking out to a few items worth checking out elsewhere.

Brad Willis penned an interesting op-ed for the PokerStars blog today titled “Before the bubble” occasioned by the anniversary of his playing his first ever WSOP event back in 2005. Brad does a nice job recounting the wonder associated with that experience, then moves into some observations about the current status of both his own poker playing and the tourney scene, generally speaking.

It’s a thoughtful piece that gives poker players much to consider regarding some of the reasons why we got into this game in the first place, and why it’s important now and then to remember those reasons particularly when encountering others just coming into the game as we once did.

Also worth reading is James McManus’s review for The Wall Street Journal of Ben Mezrich’s new book, Straight Flush, which weirdly celebrates the fraudster founders of Absolute Poker.

Last August I wrote about having seen Mezrich pop up on CNBC for a brief segment in which he previewed his plans to write the book, noting then how worrisome it seemed that he apparently either misunderstood or was willfully diminishing the frankly villainous behavior of his story’s principals, people responsible for the first major online poker cheating scandal (and cover-up), who caused the loss of millions by investors, who committed bank and wire fraud, who violated the UIGEA, and who failed (along with UB) to return player funds post-Black Friday.

I’ve yet to read Straight Flush, but from McManus’s review it sounds as though Mezrich has followed through on his plans to champion the “brilliant kids” of AP. As McManus states in his review, it’s “a story of failure, tendered as almost its opposite.” The review is titled “Bluffers and Bandits” -- probably a more appropriate title for the sordid saga -- and ultimately calls out Mezrich for being motivated by an ethically compromised greed not unlike that of his subjects.

Haley Hintze is also working through in greater detail several problem areas presented by Mezrich’s book in a multi-part series over on Flushdraw that is doing a great job explaining both the AP story as it actually happened and Mezrich’s numerous deviations from it.

Finally, BLUFF Magazine this afternoon debuted a new video feature called “Stump the Kevmath” featuring our favorite poker Twitterer doing his best to take on some WSOP-related trivia challenges. Guaranteed to produce a few grins.

Okay, now I have filled your inbox... get to it.

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